As many as 27 students of classes 9 and 10 studying in two government schools in Andhra Pradesh's Vizianagaram have tested positive for coronavirus.
While the schools in the state were to reopen on November 2, the students were reportedly attending classes informally with parents' consent. The standard guidelines issued by the central government last week for the fifth phase of unlocking India's economy allow states and Union Territories to reopen schools from October 15.
However, the state Education Department officials have said that all precautions were in place at the schools and the students may have contracted the virus elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the School education commissioner V Chinna Veerabhadrudu said, "It does not mean the students contracted the virus at school. They are tested when they come to school for the first time."
"They must have contracted the virus elsewhere. A decision on whether to shut the school will be taken soon," the commissioner said, as reported by The New Indian Express.
The students were all said to be asymptomatic and had come from different villages.
G Vijaya Lakshmi, a local Education Officer, said 108 people, including students and teachers, were tested for the virus from one village alone. "Of them, 18 students, including nine boys and nine girls, tested positive. We have been following all precautions," Lakshmi said.